Delegation: The Art of Learning to Let-Go
After 30 plus years as an entrepreneur the one thing that I have found to be the most difficult for new business owners to learn; is how to delegate. It seems to me that the personality trait that all business owners need is the one attribute that holds their businesses back from being a true success. That characteristic is the ability to get things done. They quickly take hold of the reigns and complete a task in an efficient time frame and manner. However this is also to their detriment.
With the myriad of tasks—such as customer service, keeping track of inventory, production, marketing, or any other tasks that must be done to keeps the business thriving—there comes a time that delegation is the course of action the savvy business owner must learn to take if their business is to grow and thrive. The place to begin letting go is to learn to delegate those tasks that you don’t like to do or are not qualified to do.
What follows may help you to see that delegation is not only practical but necessary to maintain your sanity.
How to Delegate Step 1. Day-To-Day Drudgery
Take a look at your day-to-day tasks. Are there things that you could do blindfolded? I am talking about the mundane tasks. Things like taking calls, preparing mailings, filing, and such might be a good job for a VA (virtual assistant) or even your family member. If your mind is blank and you think all your tasks must be done by you, then I suggest you sit down at the beginning of the work day and for a week, write down every task. This time audit may just bring about an epiphany. If you’re worried about costs, just remember how much of your valuable, revenue-generating time you’ll be freeing up; your business can’t grow when you’re focused on busy work.
How to delegate Step 2. Embrace Your Limitations
Those tasks that require specials knowledge and skills are much more quickly delegated. Hiring out these tasks makes far more sense than wasting your valuable business-growth time on learning the skills necessary to perform at the accomplished professional’s level of expertise.
In both these instances if you don’t delegate the task you will end up wasting a lot of valuable time either procrastinating or in the learning process. Then also, in the latter case, you may not have the talent to accomplish the task. When you delegate these types of task to qualified individuals you save yourself both time and aggravation. Furthermore, you most assuredly will end up with a much better quality product than if you had spent hours and even days on the project yourself.
How to delegate Step 3. Learn To Let Go
This is the one dis-ease that most new entrepreneurs suffer from. I can hear the words ringing in my ear, “if I want something done right, I have to do it myself!” If you’re the type of businessperson who believes this to be true, delegation is definitely going to be a challenge for you.
Take a deep breath and just let go. When you do finally delegate a task, realize it’s now in other capable hands. Start off by letting go of some minor task and work your way up. As you gain confidence in working with others it will be easier to let go the next time.
How to delegate Step 4. Give Clear Instructions
As a designer I find that when I receive clear instructions on what my customer’s vision is it is much easier to more quickly accomplish the perfect design. Imagine you got an order for an ad. That’s all. They said not one word about color, size, or how and where it will be used. Where would you begin? It is the same with your helpers. The more succinct your instructions, the less hand-holding they will need, and therefore the more peace you will have in learning to delegate responsibility. Besides this benefit, the quality of work they provide will be exponentially increased at a much earlier stage in the process.
Delegation doesn’t come naturally to small business owners. However, delegation is crucial if you want to develop a healthy, sustainable business and personal life.
Ginger Marks is the owner of the DocUmeant family of companies. The various entities all work towards a common goal that just happens to be their tagline; “We Make YOU Look GOOD!” Her services include both publishing and digital design assistance.
DocUmeant.net offers editing and writing services; DocUmeantDesigns.com, as you would guess, focuses on designs ranging from websites to book covers & layouts to buttons and business stationary needs; while DocUmeantPublishing.com’s focus was begun with the self-published author in mind.
Ginger is a member of DesignFirms and SPAN (Small Publishers Association of North America), IBPA (International Book Publishers Association) and DBW (Digital Book World) and FPA (Florida Publisher’s Association). In 2012 she was awarded VIP membership to Covington’s Who’s Who and her publishing company, DocUmeant Publishing, was awarded the 2012 New York Award in the Publishing Consultants & Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).
Posted on February 2, 2013, in Business Journal, Starting Your Business and tagged business delegation, business planning, DocUmeant Designs, documeant publishing, ginger marks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.